Pictured above, from left: Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Virginia’s Community Colleges; Coby Dillard, veterans resource liaison at TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education; Carlos Hopkins, Virginia secretary of Defense and Veterans Affairs; Bill Brown, executive director of TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education.
Prospective veterans and military-related students at Tidewater Community College will have an easier time earning credit for prior learning thanks to a new online tool.
The Credits2Careers Veterans Portal will allow students to upload their Joint Services Transcript to see instantly how their work experience could translate into academic credits at TCC and more than 1,700 other community colleges.
Created by Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS), the portal is a personalized virtual counseling tool that provides real-time employment information and enables veterans and service members to explore civilian careers related to their areas of expertise or interest.
“The Credits2Career tool helps military and veterans get a true snapshot of what credits and careers are out there for them based on what they have done in the military and the training and schooling they have completed,” said Bill Brown, executive director of TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education (CMVE).
“Military and veterans do not always understand all that goes along with applying to a school, getting credit for their experience and training or selecting a major that will set them up for their career. The Credits2Career tool can help them get started and even show them majors or careers they did not realize they may be well-suited for based on their military accomplishments.”
Using the portal, users can:
- Explore degrees and non-degree programs and identify which VCCS schools offer them;
- Create a portfolio that includes military experience, including which components can be translated into credit;
- Instantly estimate credit for prior learning from TCC based on information in their electronic portfolio;
- Explore civilian careers related to military training and specialties;
- Access a comprehensive national database of applicable jobs.
Military-related students comprise approximately 35 percent of TCC’s enrollment. Matt Adams, a Marine Corps reservist, who is currently attending TCC demonstrated the portal at its unveiling last week at the Virginia Community College System office in Richmond.
“I can’t say enough about this new tool. It’s going to help a lot of people like me save time and money in the pursuit of a college credential,” Adams said. “This is a difference-maker for those seeking their next step in civilian life. I’m sharing it with everyone I served with.”
Virginia’s Community Colleges served 36,868 veterans and military-related students last year.
“Awarding credit for prior learning is something that always sounded better in theory than it was in practice, until today,” said Glenn DuBois, VCCS chancellor. “Military service is increasingly a technical experience. And thanks to the hard work of hundreds of people across our community colleges and other state agencies, we are in a position to reward that in-uniform service in an unprecedented way.”